How to Capture Outstanding Motion Photos with Panning

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One very cool technique to capture movement in your photographs is known as panning.
It basically results in an in-focus subject with a streaked background in your photos. Luckily, it isn't as difficult as you might think to capture panning photos like these taken by Baptiste Pons and Sighthound from Flickr:

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Shutter Priority Mode

An easy way to do it on most DSLRs is to set your camera to shutter priority mode. Set a slow shutter speed like 1/15th of a second. As the subject of your photo moves start following them in your view finder. As the subject crosses immediately in front of you, take the photo while continuing to follow them with your camera.
And that's the easy way to take a panning photo using shutter priority. It gives you the added advantage of not having to set or mess with aperture which saves time when you're shooting action shots.
A few tips to remember:

  • If your camera's auto-focus is a bit slow, you might need to manually focus on a predetermined position.
  • If possible, shoot subjects that move in a straight trajectory for best results.
  • You need to take into account shutter lag, especially on older cameras

Check out these other panning photography tutorials:

About the author

Rob Wood (Admin)

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography pushed him into building this fantastic place, and you can get to know him better here


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